Illinois state debt collection laws
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that had been framed to shield the debtors and consumers from unfair debt collectors and their harassments. The FDCPA in alliance with the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA) and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, ensures that the debt collectors stay in their limits and treat you fairly during the collection process.
Prohibited collection practices in Illinois
The FDCPA and the ICCA is applicable only to the third party debt collectors and debt collection companies and doesn’t cover the original creditors. The limitations on the collection methods which protects the consumers are enlisted below:
- A debt collector can’t use profane, abusive or profane language while communicating with the debtor.
- Collectors can’t call you repeatedly, at inconvenient hours or before and after the permissible time limit, i.e. before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm.
- Any form of harassment, oppression or threats by the collectors will be considered as violation of the law.
- The debt collector cannot make false statements like they will cause you job loss or imply that you’ll be arrested or criminally prosecuted etc. to force you into paying.
- Collectors cannot threaten to seize your property or garnish your wages without mentioning that they have to get a court order for the same.
- The collectors are forbidden to misrepresent about the outstanding debt, try to collect interest or fees in excess of the owed amount, or ask you to pay for telegrams etc.
- They cannot reveal details of your debt to any third party, like your family, neighbors or colleagues etc. to shame you.
- Collectors can’t conceal their identity when communicating with you, use fake legal documents, pretend to be an attorney or state that they’re associated with the government.
- They are not allowed to ignore your request for debt validation or verification, and continue their collection attempts without providing the necessary information.
- The law also requires the collectors to stop their collection attempts if the debtor specifically requests them with a cease communication letter.
The Illinois Collection Agency Act
The Illinois Collection Agency Act or the ICAA requires that debt collectors should have their license to continue with the collection practices in the state. The ICCA imposes the restrictions on the debt collectors as they establish contact with the debtors and as they continue with their collection practices. It also specifies what the debtors can do if they want to validate or dispute the debt. The ICAA also upholds specific regulations on debt collection practices for the child support debts.
Remedies for Collector Violations
- If a debtor feels that the debt collection practices that he or she is being subjected to, violate the legal parameter, he or she can check the license status of the debt collector.
- Complaints can be filed with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Attorney General.
- Complaints can also be lodged against the debt collector with the FTC, if the collector violates the FDCPA regulations.
- The debtor may also be entitled to receive compensations for actual and punitive damages from the collectors, if they’re found guilty.